Level 2/25 Mary Street
Brisbane City QLD 4000
08:30 - 17:00
+61 (0)427 902 259

What is a Composite Stand made of?

Each Jack Stand is made of a composite column that has been specifically designed and manufactured using a unique lay-up method to place the composite fibres into tension, creating a superior compressive strength.

Other than the actual composite column, the height and rated capacity of each stand will determine the specific other properties that it requires. These can be found under description on the individual product pages.

Does the composite column move (i.e. compress) when it's loaded?

The composite column is made up of several hundred fibre cores with each core containing thousands of individual fibres. These fibres are all held in place by a resin compound, they are formed under high pressure and temperature.

The Composite Stand supports its load when the fibres in the composite column are fully engaged under tension. As a supported load transfers its force (i.e. weight) downwards onto the composite support column, it will initially compress ever so slightly until the thousands of fibres resisting the force in that direction come under enough tension that they become engaged. Thereafter, the whole column has a significant overall compressive strength.

Composites are typically strong under tension, not compression so how does the Composite Stand hold a compressive load?

That is right, composite materials are widely known for being good in tension but poor in compression. This is due largely to the fact that the composite fibres themselves have no compressive capability and the bonding resins that hold them in place have only limited compressive capability.

However, our design and manufacture of the composite materials is used to make the column sections in the stands very different from other composite products – pultruded or otherwise. Conventional pultruded composite products typically contain only longitudinal fibres. This is not so in the composite stand column sections where there is a unique combination of longitudinal and other multi-directional fibres that are used in the manufacturing process. This unique construction method ensures that as the compressive load is initially ‘taken up’ by the column, the fibres engage under tension – and that is when the composite material really starts to perform – these fibres are enormously strong in tension.

Essentially the composite material must compress or move ever so slightly so that the composite fibres are engaged in tension and then they hold the load. This is the big advantage of the composite materials in this situation, they are light weight products which have a huge capacity.

Is the composite affected by UV Rays?

Exposure to UV rays will affect the materials in the resin and will cause it to dis-colour and in some circumstances, dependent upon the resin used, they may weaken.

However, samples of these composite products have undergone extended exposure to UV radiation for a period of several years and sections of the exposed samples have been periodically tested to ensure the UV radiation does not affect the composite material, which it hasn’t.

In order to aid in the protection of the composite material, the column is wrapped in a UV resistant vinyl wrap, preventing direct exposure to UV radiation altogether.

Will oil damage the composite material?

The composite column itself is resistant to attack from hydrocarbons and degreasers. However, given the constant changes to additives manufacturers make in their products (without informing anyone), the stands should be inspected regularly to ensure that they are clean and fit for purpose prior to each use.

Some oil additives may affect the bonding material used in assembly of the base to the composite column and the composite column to the top – these should be inspected if exposed to oils.

What inspection frequency is required?

Workshop lifting and support equipment should already be subject to a regular inspection regime of 3-6-12 months, depending on the requirements of the industry or the management system for inspection and testing that the company involved deploys. Composite Stands should be added to this schedule.

The Australian Standard for Vehicle Support Stands states that each stand shall be inspected prior to use and given the simple design (no moving parts, pins, hooks or levers) it only takes a few moments to check the stand for signs of visual damage.

What if the composite column is damaged?

If there are signs of impact damage or any indication of delamination (splitting lines visible on the surface of the composite material or under the vinyl label) the stand must be removed from service and replaced.

Are they adjustable in height?

The construction of the Composite Stand has no moving parts and as such is not adjustable.

However, we do supply specifically designed, tested and certified inserts that allow additional height to the stands to achieve varying overall heights.

Will heat affect the composite?

If you get anything hot enough that is made of resin compounds it will melt and/or burn. The composite material is capable of safely withstanding ambient temperatures of up to 60-70 degrees centigrade. The composite material should not be exposed to high temperatures (e.g. oxy torch flame).

What is the failure mode of composite?

ALL users should be aware of the following description for their understanding of composite materials. It should be noted that composite materials do not generally ‘yield’ or develop plastic properties prior to their structural failure.

The structural failure of composite materials is very different from the failure of steel or other metal products.

When composite materials structurally fail, they generally fail destructively, dependent upon the type and extent of structural overload. Upon structural failure, composite materials are generally rendered incapable of supporting any meaningful loads at all, especially when those loads are in compression.

Users should be aware that the ultimate load bearing capability of the Composite Stands products vastly exceed their rated capacity, for these reasons. However, as noted herein, the rated load capacity should never be exceeded.

Composite materials also exhibit very few warning signs before structural failure. However, when they are near or at their ultimate threshold for structural failure there may be load sounds of cracking or splitting from within the composite elements.

Note that these are the only ‘Audible Warnings’ that may occur. These sounds generally represent delamination or separation of the composite fibre elements from within the body of the resin composite structure. This is the product undergoing primary structural failure!

Users should be aware that there is a very small margin of incremental load between the commencement of these failure sounds and the complete destruction of the composite material. If any sounds of any nature are heard when the stands are being loaded, then the operator shall immediately unload the devices and remove the product from use.

It is essential that Users understand the difference between composite materials and steel or metal materials in relation to this.